Paul and his co-missionary Silas where arrested one day because they dared to rebuke an evil spirit in the course of sharing the good news of salvation. (Acts Chapter 16). As a result they were beaten, their clothes were torn and they were put in the inner prison with their feet bound in stocks.They were being punished for doing God’s work.
As they sat together waiting in chains, they had a number of options.
1) They could have complained to God about how He had forsaken them in the face of their obedience or about how they were receiving a poor reward for their pursuit of His will.
2) They could have cursed those that persecuted them and commanded them to become blind. And they might have been justified.
But rather they did something we will all find very strange…
They started singing songs of praise to God. They worshipped him from their heart. They probably told him that in spite of their trials, they did not doubt that He was still the Great and Mighty God, Great in counsel, mighty in deed. The other prisoners heard their songs and must have wondered what manner of man they were.
The next thing everyone knew was that there was a mighty earthquake. The foundations of the prison shook; the doors flung open and everyone’s chains were loosed.
That night Paul and Silas became free men.
What accounted for the earthquake and their miraculous deliverance. Psalm 22:3 gives us a clue. It says - God inhabits the Praises of His people.
Just take a moment to imagine…
They praised God! God heard and His heart was drawn to the love and faith they had in Him; so He came down and entered into the prison. The foundations shook because no building can contain God and remain the same.
His promise to inhabit our praises is all the solution we need because no problem can really stand in the face of our Almighty God. This reminds me somewhat of Incredible Hulk and His clothes, if you know what I mean.)
God's presence in response to their praise, led to an earthquake and their freedom.
Wonderful story about how we need to keep our focus on God regardless of our trials and problems. In everything, let us give thanks. God is bigger than every problem we may be facing.